Book review: Piano Duet Repertoire

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First published in 1981, Cameron McGraw's useful Piano Duet Repertoire is an invaluable resource for teachers and ensemble pianists. In this second edition, duo-pianists Christopher and Katherine Fisher have updated and enlarged McGraw's volume to a book almost twice its original size. As in the first edition, the volume contains two appendices—"Co...
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New music reviews: July/August 2017

​Bastien New Traditions All-in-one Piano Courseby Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien  James Bastien's series Bastien Piano Basics has been a beloved staple in many piano studios for decades, and now, for a new generation of students, Bastien family members Lisa, Lori, and Jane have written Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course. Levels Prime...
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Pupil Saver: Mendelssohn Song without words, Op. 30, No. 6

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Stress reduction at the pianoIt's exciting to see a student advance after years of diligent work, but often the thought of moving on to larger works is daunting and stressful, especially for those students juggling too many activities. That big piece will never be finished, and interest wanes.One solution for student burnout is Felix Mendelsso...
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Enrique Granados's musical postcards

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The centennial of Enrique Granados's death in 2016 and the sesquicentennial of his birth in 2017 allow musicians an opportunity to celebrate the piano works of the Spanish author, pianist, composer, and pedagogue, who lived from 1867 to 1916. Granados is considered to be the "Father of the Modern Catalán School of Piano." After a two-year...
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The teaching of Enrique Granados

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In addition to being a great composer, Enrique Granados was also a dedicated and innovative teacher whose pedagogical approach has been explored only recently. Many of his ideas were not published during his lifetime, but rather entered into his diaries, passed on to his pupils verbally, and annotated on scores. Many of his pedagogical works were, ...
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William Gillock: A centennial retrospective

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"To provide a musically thrilling experience." --Willam Gillock, on the purpose of student piano literature​I often ask my piano pedagogy students to take a few moments to reflect on their motivations for being a music major. After all, studying music is challenging and time consuming, and there's no clear-cut promise of financial riches at the end...
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New Music Reviews: May/June 2017

(S3) Aurora: 5 Original Solos Inspired by the North, by Naoko Ikeda.Japanese composer Naoko Ikeda composed five lyrical character pieces based upon "the Scandanavian landscapes of [her] own imagination." Aurora has the potential to motivate intermediate students, especially those who enjoy music with lyrical phrasing and expressive timing. Ikeda in...
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Closer Look May/June 2017: New Ways with Bach

(S4) Bach Meets Jazz: 15 Well-Tempered Classics, arranged by Phillip Keveren.Phillip Keveren's latest arrangements will entertain anyone who loves Bach. In Bach Meets Jazz, Keveren cleverly adds a jazzy spin to fifteen popular Bach works. All the original melodies in these two-to-three-page arrangements are recognizable throughout, and the settings...
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Pupil Saver: The Song of Twilight

The Song of Twilight," by Japanese composer Yoshinao Nakada (Frederick Harris Celebration Series: Piano Repertoire, Level 3), is an accessible and motivating piece for the late-elementary pianist. When I prepared students for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, many students chose this piece as their finale because of its soaring melo...
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Playing composers' slurs: From Mozart to the nineteenth century

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In recent decades, scholars and publishers have reproduced composers' original notations in so-called Urtext editions. In these scholarly editions and facsimiles of composers' autographs, pianists will notice two slurring patterns—slurs obviously cutting off a phrase or a melody, or a slur ending before the bar line when the end of the phrase or me...
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Winds of Change: March/April 2017

Change has been on our minds a lot lately. When I coined the name of this column in 2009, I had no idea how prescient it was (some of these recent changes would have been hard to predict even a year ago). With the future certain only insofar as there will be a future, please allow me some personal ruminations about "modern music" and its role in br...
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Amy Beach: Celebrating 150 years

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Many years ago, while reading an issue of the old music magazine, The Etude, I found an article written by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach: "Ten Commandments for Composers." I had no idea who this mystery composer was, so I began my research to find information about her life and music. During my travels, I stopped at antique stores looking for editions of her...
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CD Reviews: March/April 2017

Bach: Inventions and SinfoniasZhu Xiao-Mei, pianoAccentus Music ACC 30350[Total Time 45:47]www.accentus.com These inventions and sinfonias serve as a marvelous performance resource for teachers and students. Zhu's approach is forthright, and, within each of these tightly constructed miniatures, the dialogue between the voices is distinct and clear....
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New music reviews: March/April 2017

(S1-4) Signature Solos, Books 1-5, selected and edited by Gayle Kowalchyk.Students and teachers are in for a lively musical journey, with brand-new compositions by favorite Alfred composers, all in one collection! Students will learn pieces by beloved composers including Dennis Alexander, Melody Bober, Martha Mier, Wynn-Anne Rossi, Robert D. Vandal...
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Pupil Saver: Elephant Stomp! by Kevin Olson

If you are looking for music for students who can't sit still during lessons, or who bypass rests like they don't exist, Kevin Olson's late-elementary solo Elephant Stomp (FJH) might be just the thing. This clever piece uses two hands, two feet, and the vast imagination of the student, who must "stomp the floor!" like an elephant.Elephant Stomp is ...
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Organ music for manuals only (mostly)

The following list is selective, and it is by no means exhaustive. It represents music (for mostly manuals only and with some minimal pedal) composed for organ, representing all periods and styles from the seventeenth century to the current day. Even the experienced, well-trained organist might appreciate knowing about some of this repertoire and g...
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First Looks: January/February 2017

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Closer Look: (S3-4) Béla Bartók: Ten Easy Pieces, edited by Immanuela Gruenberg.Immanuela Gruenberg creates a real gem for teachers and students alike in her study edition of Béla Bartók's Ten Easy Pieces, Sz. 39.As a study edition, Gruenberg's book will fully inform both teachers and students about Bartók, his use of folk music, and the individual...
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New Music Reviews: January/February 2017

(S3) Preludes to Mastery, Books 1 and 2, by Chrissy Ricker. Chrissy Ricker's two books of preludes provide a fresh and varied assortment of pieces in Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary styles.There are twenty preludes in the two volumes; each is in a different key, thus offering students exposure to keys they might not visit often. Book...
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On the Value of Art Music Today

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As a promoter of the arts and arts education, in Alberta, Canada (as founder and director of Alberta Pianofest, a summer festival of concerts and piano master classes), I often have occasion to speak before audiences of music-lovers, arts patrons, and potential supporters. These audiences are sympathetic to the cause, and they understand at th...
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Repertoire: Bach's Two-Part Inventions

Affect in J.S. Bach's Two-Part InventionsBach's oldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, was born in 1710 when Bach was twenty-five years old. By the time Wilhelm was ten, his father had instructed him in playing—as well as composing—some rather complex pieces. According to The New Bach Reader, Bach used the Two-Part Inventions and Three-Part Sinfonias as a...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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